Greensburg Salem football coach focuses on bright spots
When the high school football season began, Greensburg Salem first-year coach Dave Keefer knew certain things had to happen for his team to have a successful season and make the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
“We were one win from achieving that goal,” Keefer said Wednesday after Greensburg Salem dropped a 30-22 contest to Plum in a game played with underclassmen. “We didn't have enough Gardner Points.”
The Golden Lions, who finished 3-7, would have rather played Friday than Wednesday night, but Keefer said his team deserved to play a 10th game.
“I wanted the extra game for my seniors, but I couldn't find anyone who would agree to that,” Keefer said. “But Plum agreed to play with underclassmen.”
Keefer was pleased with how the young players competed.
Junior running back Lenny Grebeck rushed for 150 yards, caught four passes for 80 yards and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Brady Mason completed 9 of 15 passes for 112 yards.
“I thought the offensive line played well,” Keefer said. “Sure we would have liked to win, but we gave everyone a chance to play.”
A couple of mishandled punts in the fourth quarter gave Plum (1-9), a Class AAAA team, great field position, and the Mustangs took advantage to pull out the win and snap their 25-game losing streak.
Greensburg Salem had a chance to tie the score in the final seconds, but Mason was intercepted by Plum's Nick Robb to end the threat.
“The season was comparable to any traditional season, filled with ups and downs,” Keefer said. “We talked about how we'd respond to adversity, and sometimes we didn't.”
Keefer mentioned the Franklin Regional game, when the team was down 21-20 through three quarters and let it slip away.
“What we have to continue to do is grow as a program,” Keefer said. “It was a good season. I was proud of how we competed and how they continued to work.”
One of the areas that Keefer said must improve is defense. Greensburg Salem allowed 33.6 points per game.